Is Verizon forsaking Windows Phone by waiting to launch a device that is LTE compatible?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
At first, Verizon wasn’t all that impressed by Windows Phone. And then they launched the HTC Trophy. And, well, up until some recent news hit the wire that was pretty much the end of the story. Windows Phone and Verizon haven’t been the best of friends since the mobile operating system’s release into the wild, which hasn’t been a secret. But, it looks like things are beginning to change. On the surface, anyway, with the latest report suggesting that Verizon itself would love to launch a Windows Phone device. The only kicker? It has to be a 4G LTE-based device.
That doesn’t seem like a huge caveat, actually. And, in truth, it’s a huge step in the right direction for Verizon when it comes to Windows Phone. That’s basically saying, “Sure, Microsoft, we’d love to launch your product, but they have to be cutting edge for where we are going.” It is more than obvious that Verizon is pushing 4G LTE, and that makes perfect sense. But some people out there just want to get their hands on Windows Phone, and now that the HTC Trophy is getting plenty long in the tooth, people would love to see some new hardware.
But that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon, if Verizon’s stance on Windows Phone on their network doesn’t change. In fact, we’ve heard from Microsoft that they plan on integrating LTE into their handsets sometime in the future, but there hasn’t been any word on when that would be. We don’t even have a ballpark, to be perfectly frank. (See what I did there?) Whether or not Microsoft is going to include any 4G LTE devices in their line-up within Mango’s lifetime is anyone’s guess, but the main consensus is that it won’t be until Microsoft releases another future (major) update that we will see handsets like that.
So, basically, Verizon isn’t going to see a refreshed Windows Phone device for (potentially) more than a year, since the launch of its first device? That is a very, very long time. In that time, there’s no telling whether or not Apple will have another iPhone out yet (which will probably have 4G LTE-connectivity), and we all know there’s going to be a countless number of Android devices launched in that period. Of course, if someone bought the HTC Trophy and signed up for a new, two-year agreement then it’s probably not that big of a deal. But, for anyone who doesn’t want to wait that long to get another Windows Phone on Verizon’s network, it seems there’s no other option but to wait.
I feel like Verizon is not only limiting and disabling the sales of Windows Phone in a big way, but they’re doing it in such a way that someone could actually say that Verizon is paying them a compliment while they hinder sales. After all, we know that Verizon isn’t a carrier that only has 4G LTE-enabled devices. No, they’ve got feature phones and other Android phones that aren’t 4G phones. So what makes Windows Phone so special that Verizon has to literally point them out, and tell Microsoft that if they want to sell phones on Big Red’s network, they need to showcase 4G LTE? Well, it could mean that Verizon’s view on Windows Phone has changed drastically, and they do indeed see them as a worthy name on their network. So much so, in fact, that they would rather only sell high-end, 4G LTE phones than sell them at all.
It would be pretty interesting to see Verizon start a whole new name brand for their high-end devices, something like the DROID brand for Android, but specifically for Windows Phone. No idea what that could be, but it certainly would be interesting. It is bad news that Verizon won’t be releasing any new Windows Phone devices any time soon, but at least we know it’s not completely out of question to see another Windows Phone on the network at all. And if you are locked in a contract with that Trophy, then at least you know by the time your contract is over, there should be something great waiting for you on the other end, 4G LTE and all.